How I became a web developer

My story about development started with my ideas and my first startup adventure.

I always had ideas and concepts for products and services but never risked to create a real business. At the end of 2010 I had my degree in industrial design and my hopes where to get a job. It took a bit of time until I got my first job as an industrial designer, sort of, I was just working with CAD drawings but I got in touch with products that needed to be equally safe for the manufacturers and the final buyers. Unfortunately the growth process wasn’t that good. Some colleagues made it harder by screwing with my work by making flaws and my bosses didn’t care about that and just said “it’s normal they make you a little prank or so”. Well, those pranks would actually cost something like 1.000€ so I wasn’t ok with that. After a while I dropped out and search for a different work.

After this experience I focused on my ideas while job hunting. I would go to meetups and other activities that would envolve more people with different background and knowledge. Working on ideas was easy, I really love to use reverse engineer on things, discover a problem and come up with a different approach to solve it. The hardest part was to make it come to life, just like the Frankenstein monster, you could gather the body parts but making him live is another story.

For a while I managed to get small jobs as a freelancer, I should call them “gigs“, trying lots of new stuff like graphic design, social media, digital marketing, etc. But none of those could make me feel enthusiastic about what I was doing. The thrill was more about knowing how it started then turning myself into an ace with that skill.

While not working at full-time on my ideas I’d work on other’s in a startup environment. I was always surrounded by chaos and it made me feel comfortable but there were times I needed some peace and quiet.

One day at one of those startup lectures on “how to make a startup” I was enlightened with a bright idea. My first business idea was founded, iteration after iteration I would see my calling, my life purpose emerging from the soil. I was more then amazed not about my idea but about the numerous people working on the same kind of project for years. It took me a while to gather my first co-founders and make a prototype. After a month we made the first prototype and it was a day to be very proud about, some of our competitors had years of work and funding but with no real development or practicality on their projects. I’m not bragging about our accomplishment but there are times when people really do need to feel proud and this was one of those days.

Unfortunately my startup didn’t work so well. Everything was changing: the developers, the product, the market, etc. It was the daily life of a startup but it was costing me lots of resources. I spent lots of time waiting for some prototypes to be developed like 5 months or so and some times I would never see the results. I was getting tired of waiting for no results.

Although I was getting disappointed with the developers that I was coming across I could see why they would fail their tasks and deadlines. I also made some mistakes in my developer process. Being a developer is not an easy job and we do tend to reply frequently with “It’s easy” rather than “It’s possible”. Talking to so much developers and getting sketches and mockups ready for them made me understand about their work-flow, coding process, how to talk to them, etc. This and the need to make my own prototypes made me think about becoming a developer myself.

Being able to create my own prototypes, test them and try to put them in the market didn’t sound so stupid has it was. I decided to take one last stand at my startup while attending a 2 month course of web development. At the time I decided to stop my startup I was ready for another chapter of my life, the life of a web developer.

It wasn’t easy to start from scratch again but it was easier then the first time I got my degree. My soft skills were higher then before, I was more organised, more sharper when interacting with others, had different work experience and knowledge. I just got a new set of tools that needed to be tested.

There I was, looking at the future, thinking if was the right decision, the right thing to do. For now the answer is still “yes”. I don’t think a second time about learning to code, about web development, because this is not just the future but a skill that can help others to attain higher ground in this world of competitive markets.

Any one can learn how to write code, how to program for the web or even make software. It’s not something surrealistic has some people think. It’s all about knowing what you are doing, try and test new stuff, do things over and over again until you get it done. But remember this is not an easy task, since I start learning about web development I haven’t stop learning or doing new things. It is very overwhelming and an attempt to your ego. If you are not strong enough eventually you’ll go down and lose all your hopes and morals.

Never the less, I challenge you to learn to write code.

Cheers,

Delmar Almeida @ delmaralmeida.com

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Delmar Almeida

Coder, enterpreneur and aspiring digital nomad. Lover of food and nature.